Unsung Heroes in Tsavo West National Park…! What a great story from Kenya!
Unsung Heroes in Tsavo West National Park…! What a great story from Kenya!
We at Willamette Intl Travel love any photo of Africa we can get our hands on! Thank goodness for Instagram! We’ve stumbled upon some great wildlife and cultural photos of Africa, that we’d love to share with you.
WIT Owners/Founders Christina and John go practically every year to Africa. In Portland, Oregon? Call Christina today to arrange your trip to Africa, or to simply find out more: 503-224-0180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get colorful with G Box Creative – freezing life on the everyday streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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Why hello there.. awesome capture from @teilor__ To be Featured FOLLOW @south_africa_through_my_eyes and tag your photos of SA to #southafricathroughmyeyes Don't forget the photos that get featured will also be featured on the Facebook page. Like the page by clicking the link in the bio.
Take a walk on the wild side of beautiful South_Africa_through_my_eyes, founded by Nina Zimolong, a photographer based in Cape Town.
Did you know: Willamette Intl Travel has a brand-new Instagram account! Follow us over at @Wittravel.
Of course we couldn’t help but mention the awesome cultural and natural photographs by our friends over at Origins Safaris.
Who can help but “oo” and “aa” over the touching photos of the elephants and rhinos by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
The breathtaking photos of big cats and other African nobles, courtesy of David Lloyd, an NZ wildlife photographer.
We love the storytelling lens of Steven Chikosi’s account!
The feed of wildlife planet looks like something out of a fairytale picture book.
Conservationist and photographer Margot Raggett captures snapshots of animals at play, and in peaceful and quiet moments.
In our Hotel Profile Series, we take a closer look at some of the properties that have charmed, bedazzled and delighted our clients for years without end.
In line with our ongoing theme on East Africa, today’s hotel profile we’re glimpsing into the private rooms of Gibb’s Farm, an incredible place in Tanzania for some post-safari R&R time. WIT Founders Christina and John often stay at the Gibb’s Farm on their biannual trip to Africa, in which they escort clients through the wonders of the Maasai Mara, Serengheti and beyond.
This luxury lodge is located in the Karatu area of Northern Tanzania, between the Ngorongoro Crater and Arusha. Just 30 minutes away from both animal-watching areas: Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara, it’s the perfect spot to unwind after a long day’s drive through the plains. You can go on walks, visit the local town, and pamper yourself in the onsite spa.
Winner of multiple awards from Condé Nast Traveler, Tripadvisor and Travel + Leisure, the property has been likened to “Eden”—and we agree.
Built in the early 20th century by German settlers as a coffee farm, in 1948 Gibb’s Farm was bought by a British war veteran, who restored the farm after its years of neglect, small vegetable and a flower garden that are still there. The 80-year-old farmstead now houses 20 luxurious cottages and a working coffee farm.
The ambiance is rustic African with a dash of English countryside playfulness. Spend the night in one of these farm cottages, surrounded by flowers, lush foliage and views of the estate from the veranda.
Christina and John often book Gibb’s Farm for their clients at the end of the multi-day safari in Kenya and Tanzania as a perfect conclusion to an African adventure.
With organic produce and farm-fresh dairy just outside the kitchen door, it’s no wonder the cuisine at Gibb’s Farm is outstanding. With organic veggies, creamy milk, local meats, and, of course, organic Arabica coffee, guests always leave a meal satisfied and satiated. Candlelit dinners are the norm around the farm, with creative, English- and Tanzanian-inspired dishes.
Your guide will take you out for a drive around farmlands in Northern Tanzania, or pay a visit to a local Maasai medicine man. Visit nearby villages Tloma to learn about the Iraqw culture and traditional pottery, and swing by the Karatu market for a glimpse of daily life.
Indulge at the spa to soothe your aches, with traditional remedies like Olkaria clay paint, Arabica coffee scrub, Oljingai Heat Revival, Olorien Hot Wood Treatment, and Engorno Milk Massage.
Gibbs’s Farm also hosts an artists-in-resident program, where East African artists stay at the farm and create commissioned artwork.
Get involved and contribute a few of your extra hours in down-time with local communities:
Looking forward to your next African adventure? Call Christina to discuss your trip to Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime Safari expedition! 503-224-0180 or email email@example.com.
If you’re just tuning in, today we’ll be covering the last leg of WIT Founders Christina and John’s intrepid adventure into East Africa. This is part of our ongoing series on WIT Founders Christina and John’s 2017 African Safari this September. Together with Origins Safaris Christina and John are escorting a group of enthusiastic and safari-loving clients to natural reserves and wildlife conservancies.
Today: Ithumba Camp Extension, The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Tsavo East National Park
As part of an extra 4 nights in East Africa, Willamette Intl Travel included an optional extension at the Ithumba Camp in Tsavo East National Park.
One of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya, Tsavo East National Park was established in 1948. Tsavo is an incredible natural area 200 km southeast of Nairobi, just a 60-minute charter flight away. Spanning an area of 8036 mi² (20813.14 km²), it’s an ideal safari wilderness, with glimpses of giraffe, gazelle, lions, dik dik and buffalo.
The best part is how remote it is—so remote that the only way to get cellphone reception is to climb a huge boulder and stick out your arm!
There are two camps called Ithumba, one is the more compact Ithumba Camp and the other is the 5-star, luxury Ithumba Hills Camp. Both camps are just minutes away from each other. We have featured the Ithumba Camp in a previous post, but it’s worth taking a second look at this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Every seven years, Tsavo suffers from droughts, causing thirst and friction as elephants roam onto small farmlands and destroy them looking for water. Fortunately Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage does an amazing job taking care of the animals.
In 2016, the Sheldrick foundation shared the story of Malkia, a young orphaned calf. When her mother died from thirst, Malkia was found at her side. It was necessary to rescue her young milk dependent calf, about six months old and undernourished.
She was fed greens throughout the night, then in the morning keepers landed a Cessna Caravan aircraft. The baby was prepared for the flight, laid on a mattress, placed on a canvas stretcher so she could be ably lifted into the back of the plane, which had already had the seats removed allowing for ample space for her to lie recumbent throughout the 1 hour flight with a Keeper by her side. She was hydrated with a drip for the duration of the flight and arrived safely at the Nursery by 1.30pm in the afternoon. She immediately fed on milk for the first time since being rescued, which was a relief, but she did look exceptionally tired and was ready to lie down on the soft hay of her stable to sleep.
Malkia has thrived in the Nursery, aided by her forceful nature. She is a very determined and mischievous little girl, whose presence here has certainly been felt. Despite being so young when rescued, and under such sad circumstances, she has settled fast; loving and affectionate to her Keepers from the outset. Malkia and her little friend Esampu have become extremely greedy and vociferous at meal times, with every feeding time accompanied by noise and barging! Despite being so small they can be extremely disruptive giving the Keepers quite the run around. We are happy to report that Malkia has assimilated into Nursery life seamlessly and appears extremely happy and content amongst the other orphans and her now much loved human family.
The story and images of his rescue can be viewed by clicking this link: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/orphan_profile.asp?N=361
To Foster Malkia please click on this link: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/foster.asp
To make a general donation please click on this link: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/is/donate_now.asp
WIT Founders Christina and John Cooper are currently in Africa leading a Safari Expedition through Kenya with Origins Safaris. So today we’re holding a very special “Close Look” on Kenya, particularly Samburu Game Reserve and the Elephant Bedroom Camp.
Just a short 2-3-hour drive from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the semi-arid Samburu Game Reserve is probably Christina’s favorite spot in all of East Africa for scenery and large herds of elephants.
Samburu National Reserve is a rugged, semi-desert park in the Rift Valley province of Kenya. The area is approximately 65 square miles (104 sq km), and though smaller than its neighboring cousins Tsavo or Masai Mara, it’s relative remoteness makes for a naturally serene ambiance. Notable landmarks include the Ewaso Nyiro River, doum palm groves, riverine forests, acacia trees, and open savannah.
It’s famous for its plentiful wildlife, including cheetahs, warthogs, lions, elephants, buffalo, crocodiles, baboons and hippos, as well as the rarer long-necked gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Beisa onyx. Lucky safari troopers may even spot the Kenya leopard. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to 350 different species of birds including vultures, kingfishers, battlers, guinea fowl, marabous and Somali ostriches.
In 2015, Christina and John saw a wild dog in Samburu—the first time they’ve been spotted in the region in 25 years! “Our guides were more excited than [even] we were,” Christina recalls. “It was almost dusk and we had to be back in camp but managed to watch them for about an hour. Next morning we got up very early went back to the area where we had sighted them, took about an hour to track them, but sighted them again, even saw a kill. Wild dog have an incredible range…as I know they have been sighted in the Serengeti.”
Elephant Bedroom Camp is one of our favorite lodgings in Africa. Nestled in the shade of doum palms beside the Ewaso Nyiro River, it accommodates 12 spacious, rustic tents with private plunge pool, hot and cold running water and electricity. The camp also has a spacious lounge and dining tent with large veranda, 240V charging facilities, lectures on Samburu culture by resident naturalist, and entertainment by local Samburu warriors. Breakfast and lunch are served ‘al fresco’ on the banks of the river and dinner in the dining area. But we think the video says it best:
Tune in next Monday to see where Christina and John are headed next on their Safari Expedition!
It’s time for our favorite episode on responsible travel, Conscientious Traveler! CT is our monthly series in which we showcase a fantastic travel organization that supports humanitarian and/or environmental work.
Origins Safari organizes unforgettable trips to East and Central Africa. We’ve partnered up with them for years, providing invaluable experiences to travelers with a passion for wildlife and safari adventures. Most of their programs run in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, though they also touch on natural conservation areas in the South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, and Benin.
Many of the trips that WIT Founders Christina and John escort on their annual African trip are courtesy of Origins.
Origins Safari is dedicated to promoting responsible tourism and cultural heritage. They are members of several sustainable organizations, including:
AMREF Flying Doctors: In 1956, three doctors established groundbreaking medical efforts in remote and rural regions of East Africa. Their vision has spread all over the continent, treating the combined effects of poverty, tropical disease and minimal health services and facilities in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, South Sudan and South Africa. http://amnew.amref.org/
Ecotourism Kenya: This non-profit promotes responsible tourism practices, working with local communities and managing waste, maintaining the natural environment and livelihood of the local people. http://www.ecotourismkenya.org/
The East African Wild Life Society: A membership-based public benefit organization that seeks to promote conservation and the use of natural resources in East Africa. https://www.eawildlife.org/index.php
We Are Africa Travel: An organization dedicated to rethinking old tropes and stereotypes of Africans, and enhance a more modern image of the continent. http://www.weareafricatravel.com/
Imagine yourself trekking through Subsaharan Africa with certified guides and drivers, who have grown up in the region and are intimately familiar with the game and people who live there.
Steve Turner of Origins Safaris, ground operator with whom we’ve worked closely for over 30 years, is our go-to guy and an expert on migration.
Wherever your spirit of wild adventure leads you, Origins can help you get there!
Steve recommends November to March as primary game viewing in Tanzania. Rain tends to the cusp months, so perfect timing is January and February, with an added bonus of birthing seas in the crater in February. From August to October, head to Kenya as the migration should be thick on the Mara.
Origins Safari will join us on our 40th birthday celebration this December! One of our favorite guides, Stanley, will return to share with you all about Africa and the programs with Origins Safari. He’ll be our official “storyteller”—stories that will have you in stitches before long!
The date is Sunday, December 3 — see our newsletter for more details.
Call Willamette Intl Travel for more ideas and opportunities to travel in Africa! 503-224-0180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Willamette Intl Travel Owners Christina and John frequently guide small groups through Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and last year, Namibia. They make it their business to know the ins and outs of safaris, camps and unique adventures in Africa. They usually take 1-2 trips per year with a small group, and over the years, they’ve accumulated a wealth of insider info on the continent. Considering a trip to Africa in 2017 or even 2018? Give Christina a call at 503-224-0180 or email email@example.com for the scoop.
On the Kenya 2015 trip, Christina stayed at Ithumba Camp with 3 single ladies. They stayed at the original Ithumba Camp—not to be confused with the 5-star, luxury Ithumba Hills Camp. Both camps are located minutes from each other in the same area of Tsavo East National Park, 200 km SE of Nairobi—a 7 hour drive, or a quick 60-minute charter flight from the city. The park is an ideal safari location, spanning an area of 8,036 square miles–that’s larger than Wales! It’s so remote, the only way to get cellphone reception is to climb a huge boulder and stick out your arm. You’ll truly feel at home in this wilderness, with chances to glimpse a variety of wildlife: giraffe, gazelle, lions, dik dik, and buffalo.
Though close in proximity, the two camps serve different styles of traveling.
Ithumba Camp is located on the flatlands, a rustic and stylish property. Sleep under makuti roofs and shower yourself in sounds of nature. The camp offers just four tents, with en-suite bathrooms and outdoor showers from where you can admire the stunning starlight. Water and light are powered by solar panels. An open communal pavilion with a small roof terrace is open daily for meals; here you can find the game-viewing decks.
Ithumba Hills is based at the foot of Ithumba Hill, with views of the Yatta Plateau. Like the original camp, Ithumba Hills offers 4 tents, sleeps up to 8 people—but its rates are higher due to more luxurious facilities. Since the whole camp must be booked regardless of how many people there are, it can book up surprisingly fast, sometimes a year in advance. And when we say luxury, we really mean it—each tent offers a five-star experience, with en-suite bathrooms, huge shower areas and dressing rooms. Their game-viewing decks are located off the tents, and there is a huge infinity pool built into the rocks.
Both camps are fully fenced, as there are many wild elephants in the area. All food and drinks are driven in by your safari guide from Nairobi, though Ithumba provides the chef and two other staff.
What really makes Ithumba shine, however, are the nearby Orphans’ Rehabilitation Units, an orphanage for baby elephants who have lost their parents to poaching or other means. Both Ithumba camps and unit are owned by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The DSWT initiative fights to save elephant lives and their habitats, with their Nairobi Nursery, Saving Habitats in Kibwezi Forest, and these orphan units in Tsavo East.
Guests can visit the elephant orphans two times a day, meet the calves and chat with their handlers. It’s a special treat to watch baby elephants enjoying milk feeding times and their midday mud-bath.
Christina will be returning to Ithumba in September 2017. Call her now to start planning your unforgettable trip to Kenya! 503-224-0180 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“I highly recommend Ithumba Safari Camp… after the amazing experience I had last year, I know it’ll be a highlight for you. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be completely surrounded by herds of wild elephants. You also learn what an incredible job Sheldrick Orphanage is doing in attempts to save these beautiful animals.”
Photos of previous trips to Kenya:
Related posts on Africa: